USA Cycling announces national championship courses in Roanoke, Botetourt County (copy) | Z-no-digital

USA Cycling announced on June 2 the courses for its Amateur Road National Championships, where cyclists will compete in downtown Roanoke and Botetourt County.

The event will take place June 29-July 2 and will feature three different events. The first day will consist of individual time trials on US 11 in Botetourt County, starting just outside of Troutville Elementary School. The races will be 6 to 19 miles depending on age and ability. People ages 11-22 will be competing.

The second and third days are road race competitions starting at the Botetourt Sports Complex. The course is about 23 miles long following Catawba, Haymakertown, Lee’s Gap and Blacksburg roads. Riders will experience about 9,000 feet of climbing across multiple laps.

“Here in Botetourt we’re known for our outdoor recreation, our stunning scenery, the mountains, the James River, the scenic country roads,” county board of supervisors Chair Richard Bailey said. “Cycling is becoming a fast growing sport in our area and we think beautiful Botetourt County is an excellent place for these things to be happening.”

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The final day will be a criterium race in downtown Roanoke. The fast-paced race is less than a mile and cyclists will ride up to 40 mph around Church Avenue, Third Street, Luck Avenue and Franklin Road.

Spectators are encouraged to attend each event and volunteers are also needed. Those interested can find more information at

USA Cycling, the national governing body for cycling in the United States, announced earlier this year that the Roanoke Valley would be the site for its amateur road championship, which has served as a proving ground for Tour de France winners and Olympic gold medalists.

The event draws more than 700 competitors who travel with their families from more than 40 states.

The championship was held in Florida last year but that location fell through for 2022, setting up the opportunity for Roanoke to host.

Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, the region’s tourism bureau, worked with local governments to bring the race to the Roanoke Valley as part of its larger focus on cycling. The announcement has come among a string of cycling news in the area.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association named Virginia’s Blue Ridge as a silver level ride center for its variety of trails. And earlier this year, a top national cycling team of women and girls, named Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24, relocated its operations from Idaho to Roanoke. Team members train in the area in order to qualify for college scholarships and the Olympics.

Roanoke hosted the Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, which took place June 5. That race included a 1.2-mile swim at Carvins Cove, a 56-mile bike ride through Botetourt County and a 13.1 mile run on the Roanoke River Greenway.

Because of the area’s growing interest in cycling, Roanoke College also announced on June 2 that it will launch a competitive cycling program this fall for men and women.

“There was already student interest in cycling and the college is recruiting students to take part in the booming cycling environment in Virginia’s Blue Ridge,” dean of students Tom Rambo said.

The college registered men’s and women’s teams with USA Cycling and they will compete this fall as a club sport. In a few years, they will elevate to varsity status and compete in the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference.

Roanoke College will search for a coach this summer.


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